by Dr Chukwuma Destiny Ogbonnaya
I think that the greatest episode of the 2023 general elections should be titled ” Wike: Commander of the G5″.
As a screenwriter, I can imagine that we are quite close to the climax of the 2023 general election drama. To avoid repetition, PO is HE Peter Obi; AA is HE Atiku Abubakar and BAT is Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Now, here are the possible scenarios that you should expect and the possible implications that may follow for the G5 and Nigeria at large.
Scenario 1: G5 support PO or BAT as a whole.
Scenario 2: G5 share their support for BAT and PO (A ratio of G3:G2).
Scenario 3: G5 play a reversal and support AA. This will be like the scene in Julius Ceasar in which Mark Anthony turned swiftly to support Ceasar’s heir against the Roman Senators.
Scenario 4: G5 continue on the current suspense game until election passes.
Going outrightly to support BAT or PO would be a declaration of antiparty war; and PDP and AA camp may, for the first time, go on offensive against the G5. The battle of survival will, however, linger till election passes. From a view point of strategy, PDP must pick a fight with the G5 to show strength if they declare for another candidate whilst in PDP. Not showing strength will cause PDP more damage because electorates will despise the leadership of the party and AA as weak and disordered. However, if G5 share their support as per Scenario 2, PDP should simply play the victim and not fight the G5 because AA will win given that G5 control lesser proportion of the votes to balance the votes AA will get from playing a victim of the G5. But, will playing a victim make him appear fit for the Presidency? I doubt.
If G5 declare for BAT, the Obidients would conclude an elite conspiracy and the last waves of citizens mobilisation for PO will spike and continue till election passes. It is like pouring fuel in the fire of passion driving the Obidient movement. I am talking about the rebirth of what happened when Obidients were told that they had no structure and that they were only 5 youths in a room tweeting here and there. Obidient movement have been running on a response to elite oppression, disregard and intimidations.
If G5 make a U-turn and support AA, it would significantly spike AA’s chances in the election and create a more stable electioneering process through the election as people will think that it is merely natural for the G5 to support AA and be reconciled.
If G5 continue the suspense game, it will weaken AA because AA’s votes are being shared by PO and BAT. This will increase the chances of run-off in the presidential election. Yet, the current scenario favours PO.
For the sake of the political career of the G5, maintaining the suspense is their best option in terms of public perception given that their current position on inclusivity appears rational. Nigerians are watching and the history of those who walked out on former President Jonathan because of President Buhari may simply have been recreated in the end. Who knows whether Wike is on a vengeance mision for the role of AA in the defeat of PDP in 2015. This is quite interesting to watch as the story evolves.
Whichever way the G5 go, there are hard choices to make. That’s while they have to travel to London to make it. To those who opined that they should have taken the decision in Nigeria. Please understand that they need a sub-zero temperature to take the decision because the solution is sweat-inducing. They would not want their aids to whisper to one another in laughter and say, “their Excellencies are sweating even under air-conditioner in Port Harcourt”.
On a serious note, the best thing the G5 should do is to join the youths, disadvantaged Nigerians and battered labour Unions to deliver PO. Standing with the youths could offer the G5 a form of redemption in the future. If G5 supports PO and the Obidients appreciate the support and tweets and Facebooks in their favour if PDP and AA come after them, it will cause more damage for PDP and they may back-off. PO can be trusted to make use of the presidency opportunity and all the battles G5 will face by going all out for PO against AA will be worth it in the next 4 years.
Beyond naivity, the only choice before the G5 is a simple choice of political self-preservation and the preservation of Nigeria as a nation. Coincidentally, Wike is not contesting for any position unlike the rest of the G5. A division in G5 at this point will prove catastrophic! I think that going all out for PO is not just a patriotic venture but an action that will be remembered in the anals of history of Nigeria and Wike would turn out to be a key actor in that story.
For now, let us not waste our saliva as Wike, the Commander of the G5 said. We will continue the script when the G5 finally make public their final decision.